Township police respond to false rape call

March 6, 2020

Bloomfield Township Police Dispatch received a call from a hysterically crying female on Sunday, March 1, who said she had been sexually assaulted in the 5000 block of Sutters Lane, but when officers arrived, they discovered a vacant home, and believe they had been “swatted,” a call that is used to get police to respond to false incidents.

Around 8 p.m., dispatch received a call from what appeared to be a female who was hysterically crying. She told dispatch she was just sexually assaulted at a house party at a residence in the 5000 block on Sutters Lane. The home at the address was vacant and for sale, and officers checked the immediate area and no large party was located.

Officers then checked streets that shared a similar sounding name, all with negative results.

Dispatch was unable to “ping” the caller's phone number, and a search of the phone number showed it returned to wholesale customer called “TextNow Inc.” Dispatch was unable to re-establish a connection with the caller, and did not receive any further calls.

Bloomfield Township Lt. Paul Schwab of the investigations division said it is believed this was a “swatting” call, used to get police to respond to false incidents. Swatting is a criminal harassment tactic of deceiving an emergency service into sending a police and emergency service response team to another person's address.

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